Where You Left Me by Jennifer Gardner Trulson (Review & Giveaway!)

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
Lucky—that's how Jennifer would describe herself. She had a successful law career, met the love of her life in Doug, married him, had an apartment in New York City, a house in the Hamptons, two beautiful children, and was still madly in love after nearly seven years of marriage. Jennifer was living the kind of idyllic life that clichÉs are made of.

Until Doug was killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center, and she became a widow at age thirty-five—a "9/11 widow," no less, a member of a select group bound by sorrow, of which she wanted no part. Though completely devastated, Jennifer still considered herself blessed. Doug had loved her enough to last her a lifetime, and after his sudden death, she was done with the idea of romantic love—fully resigned to being a widowed single mother . . . until a chance encounter with a gregarious stranger changed everything. Without a clue how to handle this unexpected turn of events, Jennifer faced the question asked by anyone who has ever lost a loved one: Is it really possible to feel joy again, let alone love?

With unvarnished emotion and clear-eyed sardonic humor, Jennifer tells an ordinary woman's extraordinary tale of unimaginable loss, resilience, friendship, love, and healing—which is also New York City's narrative in the wake of September 11. Where You Left Me is an unlikely love story, a quintessentially New York story—at once Jennifer's tribute to the city that gave her everything and proof that second chances are possible.

I had only just turned six when 9/11 occurred. I was in first grade, and just as it is for most young children, everything in my world was black and white so to say. Evil and good where separated easily, and I was wrapped in my own little safe cocoon based on my age alone. While 9/11 did not directly affect me in any ways, I would be lying to say the world and lives of every US citizen did not change in a variety of small and huge ways because of it.

Jennifer Garden Trulson and her family are one example of the big variety. Prior to 9/11 Jennifer, Doug, her husband, and their two children lived an easy and average life. They all loved each other as well as the time they spent together. However, everything changed one day when Doug went to work at one of the two World Trade centers and never returned, and that- as well as the plethora of things that came after- are what Where You Left Me is based on it.

To be honest Where You Left Me isn’t the easiest of books to read, especially in the first couple of chapters. Not because it is boring or written badly, but because of how beautifully it is written and told. Jennifer’s emotions and feelings easily jump of the page and come to life, and because of that, I spent the majority of the first hundred or so pages crying and even full out sobbing at points. Not to say this book is one gigantic tear fest, because it wasn’t that either. Instead, it’s a book that addresses the sadness, hope, occasional joy, and paths that follow a tragic and life-altering event, one that made me tear up, laugh, and even figuratively jump for joy at different points; sometimes all within the same page.

My favorite part of Where You Left Me, though, was seeing how Jennifer came to learned to live with it all and in the process began to live again. It wasn’t an easy journey, especially within the first few months, but by the end her eventful journey was a major focus of the book, one that nearly any reader will fully follow and root for the entire time. I also enjoyed the different tidbits of information about the widows of 9/11 and Jennifer’s husband’s company that came out of the course of the book, because when brought together with the rest of the book, it created an engaging and thoughtful story overall.

Bittersweet, emotional, and engaging, Jennifer Gardner Trulson’s Where You Left Me does the one thing that most 9/11 memoirs, TV specials, and news articles, don’t do: it gives the reader an emotionally charged and realistic story that showcases what happens after the cameras stop rolling. I can’t suggest it highly enough to say the least!

Grade: A+

Where You Left Me (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads) is now out!

Source: Emily at Engelman & Co.

Thanks to Engelman & Co., I also have one copy of Where You Left Me to giveaway. To enter the giveaway, please fill out the following form.

Official Giveaway Rules:

~ Must be 13 years or older (Please be aware that this is an adult book, and while it's not in any ways explicit, it does contain some mature subjects.)
~ Must have a US mailing address
~ This giveaway will close on September 18, 2011 at 12:00 PM EST



  1. Wow, this sounds like such a powerful read. I was also in first grade when 9/11 happened so it feels like some far away event that only resulted in a day off school (since we lived about 30 minutes away from the World Trade Center). Thanks for the heartfelt review and even more for the chance to win it! :)

  2. This looks like it is a really good book. Your review of the book was awesome. :)

  3. I love stories about 911. We should all remember.

  4. I love stories about 911. We should all remember.

  5. I hadn't heard of this book, but it sounds really fantastic. Thanks for reviewing it!


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